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Welcome foundation studies applicants!

You have made a great decision choosing West Notts!

A big hello!

Welcome to the foundation studies department and the beginning of a very exciting and fulfilling career! This area is one of our most exciting and challenging areas within the college as we can really specialise and target your programme to meet your individual needs and aspirations. Once you have completed the course you will be perfectly placed to apply for other courses within the college or some may want to go straight into employment or an apprenticeship.

Foundation studies is much more than just learning from the book or to meet your qualifications. We specialise in life skills and give you the opportunity to taste various independence and employability pathways that you would like to try but are not get ready to undertake for a full year.

Students can develop their community awareness and independence skills eg. money skills, safety and wellbeing, healthy relationships, shopping, cooking a meal and other life skills, if appropriate.

Some of our students have progressed onto other courses within foundation studies or onto vocational courses within the wider college community, such as IT and computing, childcare, hair and beauty, motor vehicle and construction crafts, hospitality and catering to name a few. Our lecturers are experts within various industries and all have very diverse experience, from animal care to health and social care.

We offer excellent opportunities to all of our students including the chance to travel and visit the workplaces in action, or to undertake practical life skills such as travel training, eating out, booking facilities etc. Some of the taster pathways you can partake in include; beauty, travel, catering, animal care, adult and child care, gardening, IT, business admin, creative arts and motor vehicle.

We are very proud of the outstanding progress achieved by students to ensure that they have the very best opportunity to gain employment within the sector or progress to other courses including the new supported internship. The supported internship is for learners with an EHCP as a step into employment. You get the opportunity to work out in industry two days a week and spend a day in college.

We really look forward to welcoming you at the college and look forward to helping you develop your knowledge, your skills and ultimately aid you on your journey to success.

Helen Wilcockson
Head of Department – Travel, Hospitality, Animal Care and Foundation Studies


FAQs - foundation studies courses

The following information will hopefully give you a little bit more of an insight into what it will be like to be a student with us.

  • Where will I study?

    All of our Foundation Studies are based at our Derby Road site. The college runs 13 college buses to Derby Road in a morning and in the evening. You may also be entitled to a taxi or a mini bus provided by the local authority which your parent/carer will need to apply for.

  • What is it like?

    The college is a professional environment intended to prepare you to work in industry. As such we expect behaviour to be in line with what it would be in the world of work. Attendance and punctuality are very important.

  • What will I study?

    If you are studying on our Independence Pathway you will also have access to a specialist area to practice and develop your independence skills in a safe and supportive environment e.g. cooking, domestic chores and keeping yourself safe.

    If you are studying on our Employability Pathway you will study career planning, interview skills and CV writing to help you to gain confidence in making decisions about further study and future employment.

    Study on campus is mainly classroom based, but we do offer some opportunities for practical ‘hands on’ work skills e.g. catering, hospitality, animal care and computing.

    We offer qualifications from Entry Level 2 to Level 1 and study a range of subjects related to each course.

  • What about English and maths?

    If you start at college and you haven’t yet achieved your English and maths GCSEs at grade 4 or above, then you will continue to study these for three hours each week per subject. At the end of your first year you will take a re-sit GCSE exam. It is important you attend your English and maths lessons alongside your chosen course.

  • What will I have to wear?

    Smart, casual clothes for most courses, however you will be advised by your tutor prior to induction if you are required to purchase a uniform for your course e.g. work trousers and boots for animal care.

  • Will I have to do a work placement?

    All of our students will be able to also get engaged with our learning companies which are in-house opportunities to gain real world experience.


  • Applicant activities

    Before you start at West Notts, here are a few activites to get involved in.

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    Watch - This is Foundation Studies

    This short video will help you to get a glimpse of what it's like being a Foundation Studies student at West Nottinghamshire College.

    View the video on YouTube

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    Watch - Everything you need to know

    This short presentation will give you all the details about the foundation studies courses available at West Nottinghamshire College.

    View the video on YouTube

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    Watch - Take a tour of our facilities

    View the video on YouTube

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    Read - Initiative Magazine

    Take a look at this fantastic magazine created by our Practical Work Skills Level 1 students

    View magazine

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    Read letters from our current students

    Our students wanted to share their experiences of college with you. We hope their letters help answer some of your questions and put you at ease.

    For safeguarding reasons, the students names have been removed.

    Read letter 1

    Read letter 2

    Read letter 3

    Read letter 4

    Read Xavier's letter

    Read letter to stepping stones applicants

  • Ask your tutor

    Anything playing on your mind about your college course? Then send your questions to our college tutors using our simple online form.

    Ask a question

Why choose West Notts?

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100% A Level pass rate in 2020.

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One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction.**Learner Exit Survey 2019/20

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An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area.

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We have four campuses each boasting a number of state-of-the-art facilities.

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